Book Review: Foraged Flora

On the shelves of our beautiful store you will find a range of books to delight flower and garden lovers. What better way to spend a lazy winter weekend than curled up with a hot cup of tea and a book filled with stunning imagery and inspiring words.

One of our favourites is Foraged Flora by Louesa Roebuck and Sarah Lonsdale, which focusses on the use of local and foraged plants and flowers to create beautiful arrangements at home. Each of the twelve chapters of the book are dedicated to a month of the year and include a variety of arrangements created from botanicals available during that time period.

Our Verdict: We love this modern and relaxed take on a ‘how-to’ guide, and the fact that the reader is encouraged to find beauty in the natural world around them.

As florists we see beauty in the different stages of a plant’s life and delight in an oddly formed bloom or leaf, and in this book the reader is tempted to do the same.

From collecting wildflowers from the roadside, garden grown roses or backyard branches, the beautifully styled photographs show the reader how to effectively style interesting botanical combinations in a relaxed manner. Foraged Flora makes both a gorgeous coffee table book and an informative read.

 

 

We have been lucky enough to provide beautiful flowers and event styling at some amazing corporate events recently and thought we’d take this opportunity to share some of the highlights with you.

A very special corporate event at the State Library of Victoria

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We worked at the stunning event space State Library of Victoria with Sydney event producers The Collaborative on a special event for a VIP client. Director Sam asked us to assist in bringing her vision to life in the way of fresh vibrant flowers and innovative styling.

We proceeded with event theming in the style of a gentleman’s reading room, keeping in line with the masculine wooden textures and old world charm of the iconic function venue. Flowers and foliage were abundant and textural including fresh peonies, calla lilies, gloriosa, hydrangea, orchids, smoke bush and copper beech. Rich shades of burgundy, plum, magenta and lime green shone in the unique light-filled event space. The use of fresh vegetables, chestnut foliage, artichoke flower and berries complemented Food & Desire’s delectable grazing tables that looked as delicious as they tasted. Doses of taxidermy animals and antlers throughout the space added an interesting element to the chosen theme for this unique corporate event.

Corporate entertaining at its finest – Emirates Australian Open Suite

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The Australian Open is always such an incredible time of year for us and our highpoint of the 2016 event was working with CI Events on the Emirates suite. Ever stunning, the Emirates suite was perfectly decorated with lashings of white, pops of their signature red and zesty contrasting lime green, along with hints of metallic gold, marble and geometric shapes. We took our cue from the included green tones with all of the fresh event styling consisting of leafy and textural greens with the occasional hint of white. We used the freshest flowers, fruit and foliage such as figs, swan plant, anthuriums, amaranthus, trick and maiden hair ferns and styled them in simplistic matte white vessels.

A unique event experience – Melbourne Recital Centre

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We were invited to provide flowers and event styling for the Melbourne Recital Centre’s Birthday Gala Dinner earlier this year. An evening of superb music and gorgeous food and wine experienced on stage in the inimitable Elisabeth Murdoch Hall. We were provided with the most beautiful event invitations depicting light and fluffy clouds and a sunset in shades of pastel salmon, muted gold and soft aubergine which inspired our floral concept. We opted to style the venue entirely with fluffy white gypsophila en masse.

The ceiling of the stage was draped in billowing white fabric, from its centre a spectacular flower chandelier was suspended with a sparkling lit crystal chandelier below. The tables were alternately styled with low and tall cloud-like arrangements to match, finished with glistening mirrors, metallic gold accents and twinkling candlelight. Each napkin was also adorned with a cluster of matching blooms and the coloured lighting in the space perfectly matched the colour tones used on the invitations.

Beautifully intimate or spectacularly opulent, we adore providing flowers and event styling for corporate events of all sizes, each and every one as special as the next.

Victoria

Sasha

school-place-settingWe were excited to relaunch our beautiful flower school in March are pleased to announce it has been a success thus far!

Our beautiful school is now located in Richmond, in a building which also houses a bustling production house and luxurious showroom. This thriving environment gives our students the opportunity to see our florists in action, creating stunning arrangements for our various events and weddings. A sight that’s sure to inspire!

The flower school caters for those wanting to learn how to arrange flowers at home, and our knowledgeable teachers pass on plenty of DIY tips relating to flower care, flower types and of course flower arranging.

149-vw_juneClasses run in the morning, afternoon and evening and students can learn to make a variety of gorgeous flower arrangements such as English garden posies, vase arrangements and centrepieces with other like-minded learners. If our clients are looking for a more intensive learning environment, we also offer private one on one lessons with our experienced teachers who have worked at some of the most prestigious flower studios throughout the world. We also offer our classes as part of special events providing an exciting, tactile atmosphere for corporate team building, hen’s parties, birthday celebrations and the like.

To perfectly complement our lovely flowers and surrounds, in the evenings our students are treated to French champagne on arrival followed by the most delicious cheeses and canapes. During daytime classes our students indulge in an elegant high tea with delectable savoury and sweet treats.

We’d love for you to join us! You will find our flower school a perfect treat for yourself or a unique gift idea with vouchers being available in store. Our current class schedule is available to view on our website.

Hope to see you there,

Victoria

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It is a pleasure to share with you a behind the scenes review of the gorgeous wedding of Kate and Mitchell at the private Australian Club in the Melbourne.

Kate started her journey with us many months before her wedding day, making regular trips down to Melbourne from interstate to plan her wedding. She requested an abundance of elegant, femininely styled flowers, and it was such a pleasure for us to turn her dreams into reality.

Kate’s wedding bouquet perfectly complemented her full gown, and contained a stunning combination of white peonies, spray roses, Singapore orchids, hydrangea, and gardenias, and was finished with trailing stephanotis tendrils. Beautiful flowers, in abundance.

124-Australian-ClubHundreds and thousands of locally grown flower were sourced from all over Victoria for Kate and Mitchell’s incredible wedding. Masses of stunning spring blooms were used to bring the traditionally elegant wedding venue to life, and were chosen to complement Kate’s feminine style. We sourced all of our favourites of the season including blousy open Sarah Bernhardt peonies, fluffy white hydrangea and lisianthus, the sweetest baby pink spray roses and fragrant tendrils of stephanotis.

Masses of trailing foliage decorated the mantle behind the bridal table which was also dripping with beautiful blooms. A lavish garland stretched its way down the length of the bridal table and cascaded over both ends on to the floor, whilst a charming flower covered love heart hung from the centre of the table. The wedding guest tables were styled with an elegant silver candelabra chosen to complement the ornate venue space, which was topped with a stunning arrangement of blooms and trailing foliage, and each and every guest sat down to a place setting perfectly dressed with a tiny posy of fragrant stephanotis and baby pink miniature roses.

There wasn’t a corner of the wedding venue that wasn’t adorned with beautiful flowers, and the sweet fragrance was evident as soon as the guest’s entered the room. We have been delighted to receive nothing but positive feedback from the newlyweds and their families, which is what we strive for with each and every wedding we have the pleasure of being a part of.

Happy wedding planning,
Victoria

Flowers have always been the traditional Mother’s Day gift, and with Mum’s special day just around the corner, we thought it fitting to provide you with our favourite botanical gift ideas for the most beautiful mother in the world.. yours.

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Flower School Voucher

Our recently re-launched flower school is the perfect place for Mum to get her flower fix whilst learning some tricks of the trade. As well as our usual classes, especially for Mother’s Day we will be running mother and daughter classes for the month of May.

Our beautiful classes run in the morning, afternoon and evening, and students can learn to make a variety of gorgeous flower arrangements such as English garden posies, vase arrangements and centrepieces. To perfectly complement our lovely flowers and surrounds, in the evenings our students are treated to French champagne on arrival followed by the most delicious cheeses and canapes. During daytime classes our students indulge in an elegant high tea with delectable savoury and sweet treats.

A voucher for one or a series of our classes is a must for the hands-on Mum!

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Phalaenopsis Orchid Arrangement

For the Mum who has everything, we cannot not go past an elegant arrangement of crisp, white Phalaenopsis orchid plants. This variety of orchids not only look beautiful but require little maintenance so are perfect for the time-poor or those lacking in a green thumb! They are also fantastic value with plants properly cared for blooming for months at a time.

Our Phalaenopsis orchids can be presented in vessels which complement Mum’s décor, and range from stunning silverware to clear or coloured glass, ceramic and concrete pots to beautiful urns.

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Luxurious Flower and Gift Hamper

For those who can’t decide, a hamper of seasonal blooms and luxurious delights is the perfect gift idea. Our gorgeous hampers are presented brimming with a yummy posy and lovely luxuries such as Voluspa candles, French champagne or delicious chocolates. Choose from the hampers available on our online store or custom design your own. Presented in a black box finished with layers of tissue and premium satin ribbons, our stunning hampers are sure to delight.

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Beautiful Fresh Cut Flowers

You can’t go wrong with a stunning bouquet of Mum’s favourite blooms. We love to style one type of flower en masse with our current favourite being pretty pink French double tulips or vibrantly coloured ice tulips. Alternatively, a gorgeous posy of mixed autumn blooms is the perfect choice for those wanting to present Mum with a variety of seasonal flowers and foliage.

Whichever your choice, our beautiful bouquets and posies come styled in glass, or gift wrapped in our signature black embossed paper with plenty of tissue and trails of complementing satin ribbon.

All of these beautiful Mother’s Day gift ideas can be purchased in store, over the phone or online.

Victoria

 

Victoria Whitelaw Melbourne Florist for weddings and events

As the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, our weddings momentarily decrease until spring when they return with a vengeance! The bulk of our couples get married during spring and summer which means by now they should have seriously started to think about the styling and floral aspects of their weddings. Summer brides, if you haven’t already done so, now is the perfect time to schedule your initial wedding consultation.

Wedding planning can be overwhelming, but by following our simple tips your wedding consultation will be a relaxed, positive and exciting experience. Rest assured, this is the fun part!

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Time your initial consultation appropriately

Make sure you have established a few key elements before scheduling your initial wedding consultation. Most importantly, make sure you have booked a venue, locked in a wedding date and have a general idea of what floral style you’d like incorporated into your big day. The venue you choose will play a big part in the direction your style will take.

In saying this, to alleviate any unnecessary pressure, make sure you allow yourself enough time to review quotes, make decisions and have any details amended. The best Melbourne florists also book up early, so once these details are set it is never too early to consult with a florist. We often have weddings booked a year in advance, but the average time frame is seven to nine months ahead of the wedding day.

Always schedule an appointment

While we love welcoming clients into our beautiful store to look at our gorgeous flowers and gifts, wedding consultations are by appointment only. I like to allocate enough time to talk in detail about all of your fantastic ideas and how we can turn your dreams into a reality. It is difficult to provide you with pricing on the spot and quoting accurately requires time and effort, so after meeting with you I consult with suppliers, calculate costs, work out logistics and email you a quote usually within a few days of our meeting.

Bring inspirational images and samples

Bring any inspirational images to your consultation that you have collected that you feel contribute to the overall theme and style of your wedding. Have you created a mood board on Pinterest? Have you got a sample of your stationery? Have you got fabric swatches or photos of your gown and your bridesmaid’s gowns? Bring it all along! Never feel like you’re overloading me with imagery, as the more I see, the better I can understand your style preferences and design the perfect styling to complement this.

Tips for a successful wedding consultation

Have a general idea of your floral budget

We understand that until you start gathering quotes it can be difficult to know just how much flowers cost. In saying this, you will know whether you are willing to allocate $5,000 to floral styling, or $10,000, or $20,000. We also understand that whilst lusting over wedding magazines, Instagram and Pinterest one can get carried away dreaming of ideas that well exceed their budget! We do not have a minimum spend and are more than happy to work within whatever your budget for flowers and styling may be. I can give you advice on where best to spend your budget for maximum impact.

Bring your husband-to-be Tips for a successful wedding consultation

I love it when grooms come along to our wedding consultations! Wedding planning can be overwhelming, so it is beneficial for you to have someone else there to bounce ideas off and to provide a second opinion. Grooms are a lot more hands on than they used to be, and the grooms I meet with often leave our meeting just as excited as our brides!

My senior wedding florists and I are here to help throughout your entire wedding journey, and look forward to being a part of your special day. With our help, your wedding will be even more beautiful than you ever dreamed it could be!

Wedding planning tips by Victoria Whitelaw

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Winter has certainly arrived in Melbourne over the past few weeks bringing rain, cold and generally glum weather back into our lives for a (hopefully!) short while. Winter doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to flower availability and choice, but some of our favourites bloom during the colder months. Whether you’re planning a winter wedding, have a special someone to spoil, or simply want to inject a spot of loveliness into a corner of your home, be inspired by these gorgeous locally grown flowers.

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Also known as Winter Rose, hellebores come in a variety of colours including white, lime green, and a range of pink and plum shades. You may have spotted them planted en masse in gardens across Victoria. They look absolutely gorgeous in garden posies and winter wedding bouquets.

Tip – Cut hellebores benefit from a scalding treatment which our florists always perform in store. When you get your beautiful blooms home, cut the ends of the stems off, plunge the ends into about 2cm of boiling water for approximately ten seconds and then straight into cold water. This can be repeated if you see your hellebores drooping throughout the week.

Tulips

Tulips are one of my personal favourites and look best styled en masse in your favourite vase. They come in nearly every colour of the rainbow, and are available in classic single petals varieties, beautiful double petal varieties (which look much like a peony), and also the stunning Parrot variety.

TulipsTip – Tulip continue to grow in height and bend towards the light after they have been cut. Be sure to arrange your tulips in a vase that is tall enough to support the lengthening stems. Drooping does not mean they are dying, they are simply turning their heads and positioning their stems towards the light, much like we do on a winters day!

 

 

 

Blushing Bride

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Blushing Bride belongs to the Protea family and gains its name from its traditional use in South African bridal bouquets. It features papery petals which give it a light and feathery appearance, and is available in white and soft pinks. Blushing bride is another favourite of mine to use in winter wedding bouquets.

Tip – If you’re after a flower that has a long shelf life, blushing bride is the bloom for you. Style it in a small vase alone, or grouped with other blooms native to South Africa and Australia for the ultimate long-lasting flower arrangement.

 

Cymbidium Orchids

Cymbidium OrchidsUnlike most other orchid varieties which thrive in a warm humid environment, cymbidium orchids like a cooler climate. Available in both large showy varieties and sweet miniature versions, cymbidium orchids come in a plethora of colours including white, ivory and lime green, shades of pink and rich burgundy, and earthy rusts, browns and golds. We like to use whole stems in modern upright bouquets, or cut off each flower head and place through posies.

Tip – Although one of the pricier cut flowers available in winter, cymbidium orchids are well worth the investment as they keep for at least 2-3 weeks. Like any cut flower, remember to cut the ends of the stem and change the water on a regular basis to encourage longevity. Keep an eye out for potted cymbidium orchids blooming throughout the cooler months for an dramatic and even longer lasting display in your home or office.

Hyacinths

Known for their rather heady fragrance, hyacinths are best displayed in an open environment or in small amounts so that their scent does not over power. Available in a variety of colours such as white, pink, purple, mauve and blue, hyacinth flowers will fade in colour and their fragrance increase as they mature.Hyacinth

Tip – Hyacinths are one of the only flowers which respond best to not being cut before going into a vase of water, so leave their root system attached to the end of the stem. Like tulips, hyacinths continue to grow in length after they are picked, so be sure to transfer into a taller vase as they grow to avoid the heavy heads snapping the delicate fleshy stems.

Sweet Pea

Sweet PeaSweet peas look as beautifully delicate as they smell. The gorgeous green tendrils being as much of a feature as the gentle petals which come in shades of white, pastel pinks and mauves, and dark purples, reds and plums. Sweet peas are traditionally planted in Australia on St Patricks Day, blooming in winter.

Tip – The fragility of sweet peas means that they don’t have the longest shelf life. Buy them fresh on market days, and combine with other gorgeous garden blooms such as jonquils, hyacinths and hellebores for a stunningly sweet smelling posy.

All of the above mentioned blooms are available in our store throughout the cooler months. Choosing blooms that are in season locally mean that they will be of the best quality and most reasonably priced, and not to mention support our local flower farms.

 

Victoria Whitelaw Beautiful Flowers

Giving beautiful gifts plays a huge part in my Christmas. It is a time to send love, joy and good wishes to family and friends

Christmas with Victoria Whitelaw

Let Victoria and her team do all the hard work for you by choosing one of our luxurious new Christmas Hampers. Hampers are the perfect way to spoil clients, family and friends. Whether you need one hamper or fifty, we can make your Christmas shopping easy this year.

Our hampers are filled with delicious local and international products, which are sure to impress.